Cornerback Jimmy Smith hardly ever gets really fired up on the field. He's a chill California guy.
But when Smith saw Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green catch a 51-yard yard Hail Mary pass to send Sunday's game into overtime, he lost it.
"Did you tell them how you cussed me out, man?" safety James Ihedigbo said as Smith was being interviewed by reporters.
Smith and Ihedigbo laughed. In the end, the Bengals' Hail Mary was only a near-death experience because the Ravens ended up winning in overtime, 20-17.
But it wasn't so funny at the time.
"I was hot, very hot," Smith said. "We had such a dominant performance and to let them get to overtime on that play, it's just frustrating."
Ihedigbo – who had two interceptions earlier in the day – was the primary responsible party.
The Bengals were facing a fourth-and 15 from their own 49-yard line. It was the final play of regulation. Three Ravens went up for the ball: cornerback Corey Graham, linebacker Daryl Smith and cornerback Lardarius Webb. Safety Jeromy Miles was supposed to be the jumper, but he never got off the ground.
The pass went between all three leaping Ravens and hit off Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert's head. It popped in the air and right to Ihedigbo.
Ihedigbo's job was to be stationed in the back of the end zone, but he moved up when he saw the pass was short due to the wind. Ihedigbo threw a hand up to slap it down, but ended up with a perfect volleyball set. Tipped up, it was an easy catch for Green, who was wide open for the rebound and score.
"I made a bonehead play to put us in the position that we were," Ihedigbo said. "I just should have stayed back. It probably would have fell right in my lap.
"You can do one of two things: you can [drop] your head and say, 'Oh man,' and give up another one,* *or you can say, 'Hey, the next time they throw in my vicinity, I'm going to make a play.'"
Ihedigbo did just that. The Bengals got the ball first in overtime and drove into Ravens territory. On the brink of field-goal range, Cincinnati went for it on fourth-and-2. They tried a shot pass to elusive running back Giovani Bernard.
Bernard caught it and ran into Ravens defenders. He looped back and it looked like he had blockers in front of him to pull off a crazy cross-field run similar to the one he scored a touchdown on the week prior in Miami. But Ihedigbo sealed the gap and finished off a tackle begun by Graham.
Ihedigbo diagnosed the play early, because it was one the Bengals also ran earlier in the game. It went for an 11-yard loss, putting the Ravens at their own 44.
"It just clicked," Ihedigbo said. "The defense rallied, ran their butts off to the ball, and we bottled them up to give our offense great field position. That's what it's all about. You've got to make plays. That's what people remember."
The Hail Mary will be a play Ravens fans (or players) likely won't forget for a while. It was that insane. But at least Baltimore got past it.
"When I looked back and saw Green with the ball in his hands, I couldn't believe it. It was one of those devastating plays," Graham said. "But we were very resilient and we found a way to keep fighting and get a victory."